Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rashi's Wife

I'm scared of marriage.


I've said it.

I'm scared of the responsibility that comes with wifehood.  The power that a wife has over her husband. The power to make or break him.

I want to marry someone in learning who will stay in learning ... for a while. How long that while will be will depend on him and me and the choices we will make together. But when I think about the future, when I picture myself with a nameless, faceless man at my side, I don't see him in kolel.

I see him working. As what? That's up to him. When? That's up to us. But definitely someday.

So when a bochur is redt to me, and he's a top learner, a true masmid, about whom people say that he could be the next gadol hador or Rosh Yeshiva, I get scared.

He may have the potential to be the next Rashi, but do I have the potential to be the next Rashi's wife?

And when I think about a marriage between me and this type of bachur, I think about the story of the Netziv as a boy. He had almost been apprenticed to a shoemaker. That night, he had a dream that he was in shamayim and saw the sefer HaAmek Davar with him as the author. When he told the malachim that he hadn't written this sefer, they asked him "Why not?" He decided to stay in yeshiva so that he would learn enough to write the sefer he was destined to write.

I'm scared to be the "apprentice-ship" of my future husband. Scared that I'll pull him away from learning and becoming the best he can be.

"חכמות נשים, בנתה ביתה; ואולת, בידיה תהרסנו"

Will I build?

Or c"v,  destroy?


MusingMaidel said...

Now it's posted for real. Sorry about the confusion. I hadn't meant to post it today (I was saving it for next week :) ), but I accidentally pressed publish. I immediately put it back in drafts, but it was too late. I edited it a drop, and here it is. Hope you enjoy!

harry-er than them all said...

Its funny, i had this discussion with a young lady i dated; she wants someone who is machshiv torah, who will be learning, but not someone who she will beg to come home to help when she is sick, the kids are overwhelming her, and the house is a mess. How in her own siblings she saw that and while appreciated it didn't want that for herself.

Having a husband who will be learning all the time, who you can support and run the household for him while he is always in the B"M is not for everyone. And like you said, if you do ask for the best bochur will you be able to support him or bring him down?

So why don't you just look for a good bochur who is machshiv torah, who will be learning but knows that in 1,3,5,10 years will go to work- this is not settling, its a realistic appraisal of what you think you need and who you are.

(as an aside a guy who wants to learn for the long-haul will likely be able to discern for himself after a few dates if the girl will be a long-hauler, or just a relatively shorter time period. Your just gonna have to trust him to do it. The same way he will be looking to see what type of mother you will be, he will be looking for what type of wife you will be. There is nothing wrong with being realistic in you expectations and your ability to last)

Feivel ben Mishael said...

But... maybe you COULD be the wife of the next Rosh Yeshiva / Maggid Shuir / Rov / Gadol ...

The Netziv had a dream about fulfilling his potential. Ken zein that you are short selling yourself?

scala vestibuli said...

Wow, kol hakavod to you that you were able to write this.

Out of curiosity, what makes you say that you want to marry "someone in learning who will stay in learning", if in your head you see him working?

I would think that the degree to which you truly want the learning boy will be the degree to which you will be able to sustain him... though there is no shame in him going out to work. Lo medrash haikar ela hamaaseh. I always thought the Chofetz Chaim had a store.

Again, great post. It's so refreshing to see a blogger whose head is in the right direction.

itsagift said...

Wow, MM that was a good post. I'd just like to point out one thing you may have left out.

You wrote How long that while will be will depend on him and me and the choices we will make together. I would add and what Hashem puts you through in your life because what happens after you get married makes a big difference in how long he will be able to stay in learning.

Here's just two examples of how we cannot plan our lives out because there's Someone else making the plans.

I know someone who got married and moved to E"Y and was planning to stay there for a year, after she had her first kid. Well, she didn't have children for 9 1/2 years and when she finally gave birth to her first child, she decided to stay in E"Y a little bit longer because she felt that it was the tefillos davened at all the kevorim there and the kedushah of the land that gave her the extra zechusim to have a child.

We cannot plan our lives because we never know what will happen.

Here's the other example. Someone had a child and then triplets after that so even though she wanted her husband to stay learning, he just had to go out to work to help support their family.

I think the most important thing is that he should still be a ben torah even when he goes out to work. There should still be divrei torah at the shabbos table, no secular newspapers in the home and you should still work on growing together. It is possible to still be "in learning" even when someone is working!!

Either way, someone with your attitude will definitely go very far iy"h. Yes, it is scary to know that we have such major potential in building or breaking our husbands and our homes but that should give us a sense of responsibility and realize that we CAN do it!!

And don't ever forget to keep on davening!

Wishing you much hatzlacha whenever you have to make that plunge!!!

Rabbi Lars Shalom said...

is this original thought

MusingMaidel said...

@Rabbi Shalom - yes, it is. Have you seen it elsewhere?

AidelKnaidel said...

Glad to have found your blog. I liked your post- it was very honest and real. But you shouldn't sell yourself short. You can be whatever you want to be.

I think that these concepts are scarier and harder to think about when its not real. Sure- its a scary thought to bring down a husband. But when actually married to a masmid- and someone you care for- you won't even think of bringing him down. Iyh your marriage will be beautiful and you will respect each other- you of his learning, and him of your responsibilities and your need for help.

observer said...

You need to dig deep into yourself, look with totally honesty at what you really want and what you are capable of, and come to a decision. Just make sure you don't sell yourself short.

Either you want someone who could be the next Rashi, or at least someone whose aim and goal is to stay in full time serious learning for the long haul, and you believe that you have what it takes to be the next "Rashi's wife", in which case you look for that type of bochur. Keep in mind that if you think you can do it, you probably can - you don't sound like you're ignoring the realities of life. Or you decide that although you want someone who will learn for a while, and will always be machsivh Torah, you are not looking to be the next "Rashi's wife". In which case, you let the Shdchanim know what you are looking for, and don't go out with "the next Rashi".

tembow said...

I'm like you- I say I want someone who will learn for a few years but can i really handle living the kollel life? i think i can. but maybe...
what came to me from reading your post and the comments is that it's ok to want your husband to learn "full-time" if that's truly what you see as important, because even if he does grow to become a gadol hador, it'll take time. and during that time, you'll be growing too. you can't think of yourself as static.. you'll be changing as well as your husband- hopefully together.

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